Buying Guide: Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces

Solutions

Buying Guide: Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces

Back sleepers, tongue snorers and many other people too – they can all benefit from an anti-snoring mouthpiece. But what should you look out for?

What are anti-snoring mouthpieces and how do they work?

Mandibular advancement splints, mandibular repositioning devices, protrusion splints and mandibular advancement devices (MADs for short) are all the same type of snoring remedy. These are anti-snoring mouthpieces that fit in your mouth, covering your teeth like a gumshield.

These devices work by positioning your lower jaw (your mandible) further forward (or advancing it).

Snoring comes as a result of a narrowed airway. This can be caused by over-relaxed soft tissue or the base of your tongue falling back to obstruct your breathing passageways.

Mouthpieces help to tighten the tissues in your airway that become slack during sleep. It also brings the base of your tongue away from the back of your throat, clearing it from obstruction.

A note on tongue retainers

Whilst technically an “anti-snoring mouthpiece”, tongue retaining devices (TRDs) work differently, and are not the focus of this article. These use a suction cup to pull the tongue away from the back of the throat and can still be extremely effective for tongue-based snorers [1].

 

SnoreLab’s recommended tongue retainer, the Good Morning Snore Solution, here.

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Who can they help?

Some research has shown that two thirds of snorers can benefit from an anti-snoring mouthpiece. Studies also indicate that mouthpieces can be a better treatment than CPAP for mild to moderate sleep apnea sufferers [2].

At SnoreLab, we recommend mouthpieces for a number of different snorers:

Like most snoring remedies, there are some people who should avoid using anti-snoring mouthpieces:

  • Those who wear dentures or a missing a significant number of teeth
  • People who have dental decay
  • Those who suffer from jaw ache
  • People with chronic nasal blockage
  • Epilepsy sufferers. Mouthpieces can break into small parts due to the strong biting down that can accompany severe seizures.

Custom-made mouthpieces

Custom-made mouthpieces are bespoke devices made in specialist dental labs. Because these mouthpieces are made to fit only you, they often provide more comfort than generic mouthpieces bought online.

Discomfort is the main barrier to success when it comes to using anti-snoring mouthpieces. For this reason, custom-made mouthpieces show greater success in scientific trials simply because people are more likely to stick with them [5].

There are generally two ways to obtain a custom-made mouthpiece:

  • Medical referral. After seeing a specialist about your sleep breathing problems, you may be recommended a custom mouthpiece. You are likely to undergo an assessment with a dental specialist who will assess your suitability for a mouthpiece and who will take multiple measurements and impressions of your teeth.
  • Online services. Some companies offer a service to get a custom-made mouthpiece via the internet. After requesting, you are sent an impression kit in the post. Here, you create the indentations for your teeth and jaw alignment, send it off, and then receive the custom-made mouthpiece a few weeks later.

Due to the extra time, effort and materials invested in creating a custom-made mouthpiece, these are usually more expensive than the generic alternatives.

Generic mouthpieces – what to look for

Less expensive generic mouthpieces bought online needn’t be inferior. There are many mouthpieces available to buy online, some better quality than others.

Look out for the following key features to get a good quality generic mouthpiece that can be just as effective as the more expensive custom-made alternatives …

Custom-moldable

Custom-moldable mouthpieces use the same principles as the bespoke devices, where the mouthpiece is shaped to fit the impression of your teeth.

These devices employ a boil and bite method of molding to the shape of your teeth, whereby the mouthpiece is soaked in hot water to soften the moldable padding. After biting into the padding, holding for a period and allowing the device to cool, the mouthpiece contains an impression of your teeth, improving fit and comfort.

Adjustable

It is important to be able to adjust your mouthpiece to reduce the chance of jaw pain.

Holding your lower jaw in a protruded position is not a natural state, therefore takes some getting used to. If you advance your jaw too far too soon, you can sometimes get temporomandibular joint disorder, a condition that causes pain in your jaw joints.

Starting with the lowest protrusion setting is a great way of easing yourself into mandibular advancement. There are different mechanisms available: some squeeze, some wind and others require plastic spacers. When buying an adjustable mouthpiece, make sure the adjustment is secure, precise and easy to perform.

Allows some jaw movement

A little jaw movement whilst wearing the mouthpiece gives greater comfort.

Mouthpieces are usually built from either one piece of material (monobloc) or two pieces attached to each other (bibloc).

Whilst a bibloc mouthpiece still holds your jaw advanced forward, it usually allows more lateral movement once in your mouth, reducing the chance of jaw aches.

Breathing vents

Breathing vents allow you to breathe through your mouth whilst wearing the mouthpiece.

You may be able to breathe well through your nose before you go to sleep, but this can change throughout the night. It is therefore important that your mouthpiece allows for some mouth breathing so you can still comfortably wear it.

Some mouthpieces are hinged, allowing you to open your mouth a little. Others contain a breathing hole in the front of the device.

If your nose is severely blocked, a mouthpiece might not be suitable.

Quality materials

Mouthpieces that use high-quality, medical-grade materials will last longer and are safer to use.

Also make sure that your mouthpiece is BPA-free and latex free. Better quality materials feel more comfortable in your mouth, are easier to clean and are less likely to rub uncomfortably on your gums.

Also check for FDA approval, a sign that the mouthpiece meets medical device regulations.

Slim design and sizing options

Slimmer, less bulky mouthpieces are easier to wear and more comfortable.

Intelligently designed mouthpieces can have adjustment mechanisms and moldable materials but still be low-profile and easy to wear in your mouth. This allows you to sleep more naturally and get used to the mouthpiece sooner.

Also check to see if the mouthpiece comes in different sizes. Even moldable, adjustable mouthpieces can be sized differently to provide an optimal fit for people’s varying face shapes and jaw profiles.

Lifespan and warranties

Higher quality, slightly more expensive mouthpieces are likely to last longer.

Make sure that buying cheap mouthpieces is not a false economy, as you may have to replace these more often. Generally, a good mouthpiece should last you more than 9 months.

Check if the provider offers a warranty for free replacement if the mouthpiece becomes unusable sooner than it should.

Bear in mind that if you grind your teeth in your sleep, your mouthpiece might wear out faster.

Money-back guarantees

Mandibular advancement can be a great way to reduce snoring, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Therefore, it is important to be able to change your mind.

Lots of mouthpiece manufacturers offer a money-back guarantee if after a certain period you feel that the mouthpiece isn’t right for you. This is a great way to trial the device risk-free, meaning you have nothing to lose but stand to gain much quieter nights.

The usual trial period is 30-nights but some providers offer 60-night money-back guarantees.

VitalSleep

VitalSleep is a quality mouthpiece at a very reasonable price point. The mouthpiece’s features and company’s guarantees tick many boxes to make it one of our top picks:

  • Adjustable up to 8mm. Use a unique Accu-Adjust System that allows for easy and precise adjustment that holds firmly.
  • Moldable. Boil and bite materials allow for custom-molding to get a comfortable and secure fit.
  • Slim design. VitalSleep has a much lower profile than many mouthpieces of a similar price.
  • Quality materials. VitalSleep is FDA approved and uses medical-grade materials that are free from BPA and latex.
  • Large front vent.
  • Two different sizes.
  • One-year unlimited warranty.
  • 60-night money-back guarantee.
  • Free international shipping with the code FREESHIP.

 

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SnoreRx

SnoreRx is one of the best quality mouthpieces you can buy online. It is a professional mouthpiece with the features of a premium custom dental mouthpiece, but without the premium price tag:

  • Professional design and materials. Uses FDA approved medical-grade plastics that are BPA and latex free which feel comfortable and last long.
  • Moldable. SnoreRx uses a thermal matrix design that gives top-quality custom molding with the option to re-mold if necessary.
  • Precise and secure adjustment. Easy adjustment in 1mm increments that requires no tools and holds firm. Simply squeeze the sides and slide.
  • Large breathing vent.
  • No small parts. SnoreRx is consists of two pieces with no metal screws or rubber bands, making it very safe to use.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Save 10% with the code SNORELAB.

 

SnoreLab’s full review of SnoreRx.

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ZQuiet

ZQuiet has a simple and effective design, is very reasonably priced, includes two sizes and allows more lateral movement than alternatives:

  • Hinged design. Spring materials allow for some jaw movement for greater comfort.
  • Quality materials. Thin, low-profile and lightweight, ZQuiet uses FDA-approved thermoplastic elastomers free from BPA giving safe use and longevity.
  • Works straight away. ZQuiet is ready to use straight out of the box requiring no molding or adjustments.
  • Two sizes. The ZQuiet set includes two mouthpieces with different degrees of jaw advancement allowing you to ease yourself into using an anti-snoring mouthpiece.
  • Save $10 with an exclusive SnoreLab discount code.

 

SnoreLab’s full review of ZQuiet.

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Age and Snoring

Causes, Science

Age and Snoring

Snoring can worsen with age, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. It’s also important to remember that young people snore too.

“Snoring is an old person’s problem”. This statement is both true, and very false. There’s no shortage of changes that take place as we age, and a propensity for snoring is one of them.

Whilst age is a significant risk factor for snoring and sleep apnea, increasing numbers of young people and even children find themselves snoring, or even gasping and choking through the night.

Snoring’s association with age is exactly that, an association, not an inevitability. If you’ve found your snoring worsening with age, there are a few things that you can do to. Additionally, if you feel you’re too young to be snoring all the time, you’re not alone. It may be time to carefully consider its possible causes.

Why do we snore more as we age?

Our sleep changes as we age. We find it harder to fall asleep and stay there, get less sleep in general, and crucially, we’re likely to snore more. Some sources show that fewer than 10% of 17-29 year olds say they frequently snore, whilst more than 40% of over 50s do [1].

When it comes to the more dangerous prospect of sleep apnea, some 18% of people aged 65 and over are having at least 10 apneic episodes per night compared to only 3% of under 45s [2].

But why is this? Aging is inevitable, but snoring doesn’t have to be. Age-related snoring has direct and indirect causes …

Direct reason – weakened airway

Weak airway muscles are the main reason for snoring more with age.

Snoring happens when the tissue in our airways start to vibrate because it is too loose. Just as skin loses tension with age and muscles in our bodies become weaker and less toned, so does the airway. This loss of tone is particularly true of the soft palate, one of the main sources of snoring noise [2].

Throughout earlier life, women tend to snore less than men. This gap is narrowed once women reach the menopause as various physiological changes make you more likely to snore.

Indirect reasons

With age comes a few other factors that make snoring more likely:

  • Easier to gain weight. A slowed metabolism and overall decrease in physical activity make weight gain go hand in hand with age. Weight gained on the neck and midriff heighten the risk of snoring.
  • More medication. Drugs to treat high blood pressure, heart conditions and even simple pain relief medication can lead to a congested nose which makes snoring more likely. Sedatives also contribute to enhanced relaxation of the soft tissue of the throat.
  • Reduced immunity. Lots of snoring can be caused by a blocked nose; blocked noses are often the result of a cold, something you might be more vulnerable to as you age [3].

What can be done to combat age-related snoring?

Remember, snoring isn’t inevitable as you age. There are things you can do:

  • Mouth exercises. The best way to get tone back to those weakened muscles in the throat is to exercise them. Check out our guide to anti-snoring mouth exercises, an anti-snoring tactic which can be particularly helpful for older snorers.
  • Mouthpieces. Another way of tightening that loose tissue is to use a mouthpiece which brings your jaw or tongue forward. Find out more about the right sort of mouthpiece for you with our buying guide to anti-snoring mouthpieces.
  • Treat your blocked nose. Your nose can be blocked for a number of reasons, so there are a multitude of solutions. See our guide to snoring and nasal blockage to see what’s stuffing you up and what you can do about it.
  • Lose some weight. Easier said than done, yes. Impossible once you reach a certain age, no. Often, effective weight loss and retention needn’t involve a hard-to-maintain crash diet. The cumulative effect of many small, sustainable and positive lifestyle and diet changes can make a big difference. Have a look at our SMART strategy for weight loss.

Snoring is not just an “old people problem”

Despite the evidence for snoring increasing with age, we and many SnoreLab users testify that snoring is not a problem confined to older people. Yes, fewer young people snore when compared to the older population, but this “fewer” still constitutes thousands upon thousands of people [1].

Snoring has many causes and we are increasingly seeing that snoring and sleep apnea is a problem for not only adults, but adolescents and children too …

Young adults and snoring

How common is it?

There seems to be some conflicting numbers when it comes to young adults snoring. One thing however is certain: snoring is not an “old people problem”.

A survey of 12,000 high school students in Korea revealed that a startling 22.8% of them snored, with just over 1,000 even reporting experiencing sleep apnea [4].

The prevalence of snoring in university-age young adults is higher than many think. One study asked 2,200 California university students aged 18-25 about their snoring. 30% reported snoring [5].

Even anecdotally, whilst scrolling through SnoreLab’s Twitter feed at the start of the university semester in October, we see many unhappy students lament the snoring capabilities of their new roommate!

Snoring in young adults often goes unnoticed. This is due to several reasons:

  • A misconception that snoring is only a problem for older people
  • Social stigma around snoring
  • Lack of understanding of the risks, therefore a reluctance to seek help or information
  • Younger people usually sleep alone so aren’t identified as problematic snorers.

Why is it a problem?

Snoring and sleep apnea present problems for younger people just as they do for older people. As well as the risks to your physical health that sleep apnea poses (which can present more of a problem in young people), snoring amongst young adults has shown to have a negative impact on other facets of life such as mood regulation, driving safety and even academic performance [6].

One study assessed the likelihood of medical students to fail their exams based on whether or not they snored. Non-snorers had a failure rate of 13%, whereas 42% of the frequent snorers failed their exams [7].

What can be done to help?

Of course, the best treatment for snoring depends entirely on its causes, of which there are many. That said, anti-snoring product companies are putting more emphasis on the importance of snoring in younger people.

Good Morning Snore Solution have recently introduced a tongue retainer for young adults aged 16-25, based on an assumed difference in facial shape and size. Tongue retainers work by preventing your tongue falling back and blocking your airway whilst also tightening the slackened tissue in your throat.

Whilst many will be skeptical about how the mouthpiece is actually tailored specifically to this group of people, it is great to see companies in the anti-snoring marketplace taking snoring in young people seriously.

If you don’t know where to begin with your snoring, have a look at our 7 ways to stop snoring naturally and our 7 recommended snoring aids.

Children and snoring

How common is it?

Studies estimate that around one in ten children snore. On top of that, 1-4% experience obstructive sleep apnea [8], a condition all too frequently associated with older people.

Snoring in children can be relatively normal, but if they are snoring consistently throughout the night for four or more nights a week, it needs to be taken seriously [9].

Why is it a problem?

Sleep deprivation is the biggest problem for children with sleep disordered breathing. Children need lots of healthy sleep to develop well. Studies have linked sleep fragmentation with ADHD, and adolescents presenting to mental health services show a high prevalence of sleep disturbance [10].

What can be done to help?

Children have slightly different airway anatomy to adults. A common culprit for snoring in children is the adenoids – glands located near the soft palate which usually shrink and disappear later in life along with the snoring itself [9].

For that reason, surgically removing these glands is often an effective treatment method for children with obstructive sleep apnea. Some research indicates that children’s stunted mental capabilities, often attributed to the sleep disturbance that accompanies sleep apnea, reverses completely 3 to 10 months after surgical removal of the adenoids [11].

Not all children will show an improvement after this type of surgery. Much like in adults, snoring can be caused by other factors. For example, obese children and children with certain craniofacial abnormalities, show less improvement [8].

Conclusion

Age can indeed make you snore more, but snoring is not just an “old people problem”. Sleep patterns change with age but one thing remains constant: good sleep is important. If your snoring is impacting upon your sleep or health in any way, at any age, it needs addressing. Understanding and treating snoring earlier in life puts you in a better position to not snore further down the line.

Weird Anti-Snoring Ideas of the Past

Science

Weird Anti-Snoring Ideas of the Past

Type “snoring remedies” into a search engine and you’ll see the usual suspects: mouthpieces, nasal dilators and special pillows amongst a few others.

We dug deeper into the history of anti-snoring devices and found some unusual contraptions we thought we’d share …

Tongue holding mouthpiece – 1962

Mouthpieces and tongue retainers are effective and popular devices for treating snoring. Combining the two was never a good idea and was always doomed to failure.

This patent, filed in 1962, has the right idea for preventing snoring: hold the base of the tongue clear from the airway to leave the passage of air unobstructed. The problem was how it went about doing so.

The mouthpiece uses a tray to fit onto your top teeth. From the back of the mouthpiece, a paddle protrudes backwards and downwards to push your tongue base forward. Surely, there wasn’t a single user who didn’t vomit or gag uncontrollably when attempting to use this device.

Anti-snoring shock collars – 1967

This is something we are more used to seeing on dogs to stop them barking, but back in the 1960s there were several patents filed for anti-snoring shock collars.

The idea was that when snoring was detected by the internal microphone, the collar would deliver an electric shock to the user and train them to stop snoring.

Good sleep and frequent electrocution aren’t exactly happy bedfellows, so needless to say, the idea didn’t catch on.

Open mouth alarm – 1960

Many people snore because they breathe through their mouth instead of their nose.

With this contraption from 1960, if your mouth inadvertently falls open at night the bulky unit under your chin detects this and sounds a buzzer, telling you to shut your mouth and go back to sleep.

As you then struggle to get back to sleep, fearing the next imminent buzz, you wonder why you didn’t just get a chin strap.

This is another device that has the right idea but implements it very strangely.

Check out SomniFix for a more feasible alternative.

Gag-less mouthpiece – 2004

Gag-less can be interpreted two ways: either it doesn’t involve gagging, just like wireless doesn’t involve wires; or it makes you gag less than alternatives, but can still most definitely make you gag. Looking at this device, we’d say the latter is more likely.

This compressed tube fits inside your mouth to keep your tongue in check with its “saw-like” ridges. Anything described as “saw-like” surely has no place in your mouth.

Snoring deconditioning system – 1975

Many inventors loved the idea that you can use behavioral conditioning techniques to banish snoring.

This device from 1975 treats you like a lab rat with a combination of negative and positive reinforcement to make you “learn” to stop snoring.

When snoring is detected, the device activates a set of unpleasant prompts: light, sound, touch and pain. A buzzer under the pillow, flashing lights above the bed, and vibrations or electric shocks to the arm wake the user when they snore. The only way to turn off these intrusions is to press a “Stop” button on the central controller (number 30 in the above image).

Once you have flicked the switch and learnt from this negative conditioning, positive reinforcement comes in the form of an M&M via the reward chute! Users soon found out that the biggest reward was flicking the “OFF” switch instead!

 

SnoreLab’s full article about snore alarms

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Head-moving snore alarm – 1962

Continuing along the behavioral conditioning theme, this device from 1962 simply named “Snore Alarm” listens out for snoring and then violently jolts your head to wake you up.

The microphone placed at the top of the bed is connected to an amplifier, which when activated:

“[…] deliver[s] a sharp upward impulse of force to the hinged board [under the pillow]. This shakes or jars the sleeper, causing the sleeper to awaken. When the sleeper is thus awakened, he becomes aware of the fact that he is snoring.”

It seems bizarre, but one of our favorite anti-snoring products available today doesn’t look too dissimilar to this device. Smart Nora listens for snoring and then moves the head to stop it. Importantly, Smart Nora’s actions are gentle and don’t intend to wake the snorer but instead bring back some muscular tone to the airway.

 

More about Smart Nora

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Not yet in the past, there’s still some hope for …

Silent Partner

Silent Partner is an eye mask that aims to use active noise cancellation to get rid of snoring sounds.

The idea is good: a non-invasive sleep mask with small inbuilt microphone(s) and loudspeaker(s) to both detect the snoring sound and produce a “counter-sound” to cancel it out. This concept is much like that of noise cancelling headphones, but with a few additional challenges. These challenges have so far proved difficult to overcome.

First, there’s the size of the loudspeakers. Snoring sound is made up of a mix of frequencies (or pitches), with more towards the low to mid range. Speakers small enough to fit in a sleep mask find it hard to produce the tones that can successfully cancel out these lower frequencies in snoring.

Second, there’s the cancellation zone. Silent Partner’s promotional video demonstrates a snoring user with a bubble of silence around the their head. Creating such an optimal bubble is extremely challenging (i.e. impossible) and will always involve a compromise (i.e. won’t work).

Third is the nature of snoring itself. Snoring is a non-stationary noise; its energy fluctuates. Noise cancellation works very well on stationary sounds such as the gentle hum of an air conditioning unit or an aeroplane, but struggles to adjust to constantly changing sounds.

If Silent Partner were somehow able to navigate these pitfalls, the distorted low-frequency sound that would ensue would probably be more annoying than natural snoring.

After acquiring $1.6m from crowdfunding, the company hasn’t yet produced anything. The website has ceased to exist and the comments on its crowdfunding page don’t make for easy reading.

Okay, so what does work for snoring?

Hopefully, after seeing the bizarre array of anti-snoring techniques confined to history, you have a new found appreciation for the anti-snoring products available today.

Check out our SnoreLab’s 7 most effective snoring aids to see what could work for you – no electric shocks necessary!

What Can You Do If Your Partner Snores?

Diet & Lifestyle, Solutions

What Can You Do If Your Partner Snores?



Snoree, innocent by-snorer, passive snorer. There are many names, but to you, it really it doesn’t matter what you’re called when all you want is a bit of peace.

If you’re losing sleep because of your partner’s snoring, there are some things you can do to help yourself and help them. Here, we look at the significance of sleeping with a snorer and explore the ways you can stop the snoring or at least cope better!

 

Tactics to deal with a partner’s snoring

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Sleeping with a snorer

The dangers of sleep deprivation

You probably don’t need to be told that sleeping with a snorer has massive implications for your sleep quality. Having disturbed sleep isn’t pleasant and isn’t very healthy.

The mental impairment from moderate sleep deprivation equates to the effects of mild alcohol intoxication.

Over a longer period, chronic sleep debt can do irreversible damage to the brain and the rest of the body. Multiple studies have shown that getting less than six hours of sleep per night significantly increases the chance of an early death. This is due to an increased likelihood of a host of maladies:

  • Stroke
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Dementia
  • Weight gain
  • Heart disease
  • Reduced immunity
  • Cancer

When you consider that sleep deprivation is closely linked to weight gain, and that weight gain facilitates snoring, one could even speculate that snoring is in-fact contagious!

The impact of snoring upon relationships

Living with snoring doesn’t just mean disrupted sleep but can entail a disrupted relationship too.

Conflicts can easily arise as a result of snoring, conjuring feelings of guilt and resentment, doing damage to your emotional and physical intimacy.

Some sources even cite snoring as the third leading cause of divorce in some countries [1]. One study in Australia reported that snoring was the sole cause of marriage breakdown in 50 of 300 women surveyed [2].

Tactics for partners of snorers – solving the problem

Snoring is not a life sentence for the snorer or the snoree. It has a cause and therefore has a solution too. Whilst the onus is mostly on the snorer, you already share the burden so why not share the solutions? These can often be approached as a couple …

Identify the problem

Make sure your partner knows that their snoring is a problem for you. If they are to stop snoring, they’re going to have to make some changes, but won’t do so if they don’t think their snoring is an issue.

Share lifestyle solutions

There are a number of lifestyle changes that can be adopted to help reduce snoring naturally. Engaging in these together can have benefits not only for the snoring, but for your relationship too.

If body weight is playing a part in your partner’s snoring, get involved in those things that can help them to lose weight. Show some solidarity with them by eating healthily, planning and cooking meals together, and by doing exercise you both enjoy.

Mouth exercises are another great way to tackle snoring for many people. It can sometimes feel a bit strange and silly doing them on your own, so why not make it more entertaining by doing them together?

Prop

Sleeping position is often factor in people’s snoring, as supine sleeping (on the back) massively increases the risk of snoring.

“Poke, nudge and roll” is a useful tactic in the short term, but soon enough, if it’s your partners preferred position, they will end up sleeping on their back again. And so the process repeats.

There are devices available for snorers to wear which look like a backpack to stop them rolling onto their backs, as well as some pillows to help keep them on their side.

Alternatively, you can instead address your shared sleeping position. Try sleeping back-to-back, propping each other onto your sides so that your partner can’t roll onto their back.

Observe

Two heads are better than one. Sometimes, the cause of snoring isn’t obvious and requires more investigation. With a fresh perspective as the snoree, you can help your partner to identify the cause of their snoring and find the things that really work.

Have you noticed a recent change in your partner’s snoring? Has this coincided with any behaviour or health changes? As the non-snorer, you are in the unique position of being able to see and hear the differences that the snorer may be oblivious to.

Tactics for partners of snorers – coping with the problem

If the solutions aren’t working and you just need some more sleep, there are ways to cope with the snoring without actually reducing the volume …

Get a head start

If you take a while to fall asleep, head to bed slightly earlier than your partner. Given that a snorer doesn’t wake themselves when they snore, then why should they wake you if you’re already fast asleep?

Unfortunately, this tactic is unlikely to work every time. The cyclical nature of sleep means you are still likely to catch the snoring sound during one of your lighter sleep phases. Nonetheless, it should at least prevent the “as soon as his head hits the pillow, he’s snoring” complaint.

Sleep separately

This is a solution that many couples cite as the saviour of their marriage. You’ll frequently hear accounts from couples who have slept separately for years due to someone’s snoring.
Whilst this solution is great for your health through banishing the snoring sound and getting some sleep, co-sleeping is still important for the health of a relationship.

In his book “Two in Bed: the Social System of Couple Bed Sharing”, sleep researcher Paul Rosenblatt examined how sharing a bed is important for couples. He described the importance of bed sharing for intimacy and comfort, as well as pre-sleep being a time that couples use to catch up, plan, make decisions and solve problems [3].

That said, and as many snoring couples will tell you, sleeping separately doesn’t necessarily mean the end of these benefits. Set aside that same time to enjoy each other’s company, before eventually doing the sleeping part in separate rooms.

Earplugs

Basic but effective, a good set of earplugs specifically designed for sleep can be indispensable for the partner of a snorer.

A simple multipack of foam earplugs will do the trick, but also shop around for ones that are sleep-specific: soft and comfortable when laid upon, and with properties that allow you to still hear your alarm in the morning.

White noise machines

Introducing more sound to a room plagued with snoring seems counter-intuitive, but there is some sense in using white noise to mask snoring.

White noise is a sound that contains all audible frequencies at the same intensity – similar to the notion of white light.

This doesn’t block the snoring sound, but instead masks it as the snoring frequencies blend in with the frequencies coming from the white noise machine. By playing this consistent sound before sleep, you are less likely to notice sudden changes to the sound profile of your room throughout the night.

Change how you perceive the snoring

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

In short, if you can’t stop the snoring, learn to cope with it. This quote comes from Jon Kabat Zinn, a medical professor who teaches mindfulness.

The mindfulness approach puts the onus on the snoree and is about changing the way you perceive your partner’s snoring. Try to emotionally detach from the snoring sound and instead treat it like your own personal soundscape.

There have been many accounts from frustrated partners who, instead of letting the snoring sounds irritate them, used it as a source of meditation and mindfulness. They objectively listened to the sounds, accepted them and lost no sleep as a result.

Study for Sleep Apnea – Susan’s Story

Sleep Apnea, User Stories, Using SnoreLab

Sleep Study Story – Susan


We like to hear from our users to find out how they use the app and what they have done to combat their snoring. With these user stories, we hope you can pick up some great tips and gain some motivation to address your snoring too.

This story comes from Susan who responded to a post about sleep apnea on our Facebook page. After using SnoreLab and identifying some concerning audio on her recordings, Susan requested a sleep study and found out she had very severe obstructive sleep apnea. This story details her route from being blissfully unaware, through investigation, diagnosis and treatment of her sleep apnea …

For a while I suspected that I only snored intermittently throughout the night. My snoring has generally occurred under the usual “snoring circumstances” such as laying on my back, after drinking alcohol and being extremely tired.

My snoring seemed to get worse after coming to an early menopause which also coincided with some weight gain.

I found with my VivoFit band that I was waking frequently, but it didn’t provide comprehensive information so I started looking at other sleep monitoring methods. That’s when I can across the SnoreLab app.

After thinking I was only an occasional snorer, I was shocked to see that I snored consistently all night with a large chunk of it being the “Epic” level.

I’ve had problems breathing through my nose for some time, so saw an ENT specialist thinking this was the likely cause of my snoring. I mentioned my SnoreLab results and that I thought my snoring was a bigger problem than I initially had thought and that I wanted it investigated. He didn’t really ask about sleep apnea or snoring and instead I had nose surgery which wasn’t particularly successful.

Once I had used SnoreLab for a bit, I didn’t really suspect I had sleep apnea, I just thought I was a chronic snorer. It was while researching chronic snoring that I came to think that I might have sleep apnea, or that it was at least worth doing a sleep study.

I analyzed my SnoreLab results and I started to notice some tell-tale signs. I did full night recordings and there were some silent areas in my sessions with some gasping noises. This made me think that sleep apnea was a possibility, but thought that it was probably mild as mostly the results were showing snoring sounds all night long.

More alarm bells started ringing when I realized that I was feeling extremely tired all the time, yawning at my desk after only a few hours at work. Once I had joined the dots – the excessive sleepiness and the snoring – I then seriously considered sleep apnea as a possibility.

I noticed my Snore Score was getting higher so I looked closer at the audio and found more silent areas and gasping.

My doctor was very obliging in referring me to a sleep specialist after I explained my SnoreLab results and my constant tiredness. The sleep specialist was interested in the app, and after some questions I was offered a sleep study straight away without any further investigations.

I had the choice of a home study or one in a sleep clinic. The home study seemed to tick the boxes in terms of cost, so I asked if this was as reliable as one performed in a specialist clinic. He explained that due to the severity of my symptoms, a home study will likely give a reliable diagnosis. If he wasn’t sure from the home study results, he would insist on a clinic study.

Four weeks after my initial consultation I had my home sleep study.

On the day of the study, I went to a late afternoon appointment at the sleep clinic so a technician could help me fit all of the parts. There were many attachments: finger clamp sensors, heart rate monitors, a microphone, various electrodes that attached to my head and chest as well as some other parts to look for leg movement. She attached everything in an orderly fashion and explained it all as she went along.

I then went home (with a jacket on to cover up my attachments so I didn’t attract unwanted attention) and got on with my evening. Despite having these pieces attached to me, I was still able to move around easily and do the things I’d normally do before bed. 

Of all the connections, there were a few that I had to fit myself before going to sleep. The leads from the various attachments were bundled into one plug to be connected at the front of a belt around my middle. Then I had to put in the nasal prongs and a small clamp on my finger which were also connected to the belt. 

When I went to sleep, it was an unusual feeling, but certainly not uncomfortable. I didn’t feel like I slept very well for fear of the leads disconnecting. In a Catch-22 scenario, I then started to worry that because I thought I wasn’t sleeping well the test wouldn’t give an accurate representation of my normal sleep (this later proved to be an unfounded fear, as there was plenty of data when my results came back, and the diagnosis was clear as day).

Before, the technician had explained what needed to be disconnected in the morning. Everything came off very easily like she said it would. By undoing the two connections on the front belt, the entire system slipped off like a cardigan.

She had also explained that there was no need to tidy up the leads or disconnect anything else, I simply had to put everything into a bag and return it to the clinic.

The results were sent away to be analyzed and I got them back in four weeks.

I was very surprised. After thinking that if I did have sleep apnea, it would be very mild or not detected, my results came back as “Very Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea”. My AHI score was 100! This means that my sleep was disrupted 100 times per hour. Sometimes, oxygen was interrupted completely for 30 seconds at a time.

Following the initial shock, I was then excited to think that there are known treatments for sleep apnea and that I would one day hopefully not feel so tired.

The sleep specialist wrote a script for a CPAP machine and gave me a list of suppliers. Helpfully, the script also had instructions to the supplier as to what settings the machine should have.

Interestingly, the chemist I rented the CPAP machine from had a sleep apnea trained assistant. I discussed the app with her and she was intrigued. She mentioned that a lot of people assume they can rent a CPAP machine without a script (they can’t here in Australia). She then said that SnoreLab would be a great way to give evidence to doctors and convince them that a sleep study is necessary.

I had to use the machine for a month so they could determine its effectiveness and whether the airflow settings were correct. The machine I was given had a feature that meant it could also detect apnea events. After a month of use, my AHI score reduced from 100 to 3!

I’m so glad I did the sleep study and started CPAP treatment, especially since I did some research about the detrimental effects of sleep apnea. Having such a high score meant I was a prime candidate for stroke and many other health problems.

I am still using a CPAP machine, and whilst I’m still a bit tired in the day, I’m optimistic that this will improve. Even though my sleep still isn’t quite where I want it to be, I feel comforted that my breathing obstructions are not so life threatening!

I sing the praises of SnoreLab all over the place and honestly don’t think I would have pushed for a sleep study had I not used the app beforehand.

Many people snore loudly and feel tired throughout the day, but don’t make a link between the two. Susan was able to identify some tell-tale signs of sleep apnea on SnoreLab and pushed for a sleep study which has given her a reliable diagnosis. You can read about what a sleep study entails here.

She has since made massive strides to improve not only her sleep health, but her risk of many associated conditions.

You can read more about what sleep apnea is and investigating sleep apnea with SnoreLab’s insights.

All of our user stories are genuine accounts from SnoreLab users. If you’d care to share your experience about using SnoreLab, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us on support@snorelab.com or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

In the interest of privacy for our users, names and pictures may be changed. We use the wording quoted to us by our users but may make small stylistic changes.

Buying Guide: Air Purifiers

Solutions

Buying Guide: Air Purifiers



Air purifiers can help snoring triggered by allergies and pollution. Poor quality air can irritate our upper airways, leading to stuffy and inflamed noses and throats. Air purifiers filter out the harmful particles that bring on these symptoms and can massively reduce snoring as a result.

You may think that your home has much cleaner air than outside, but there are some studies that suggest that indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than air outside.

Who can benefit from an air purifier?

Air purifiers can reduce snoring triggered by reactions to airborne particles. These particles can block your nose and irritate your throat, causing airway obstruction that brings on snoring. Cleaning the air with an air purifier has shown to be very effective for:

  • Hay fever sufferers
  • People with dust allergies
  • Households with pets
  • Those who live in polluted areas
  • Households with smokers

How air purifiers work

Air purifiers use internal fans to pull in the air and the harmful particles it contains. Once drawn inside the device, the particles are either trapped in a filter or are treated to stick to surfaces as opposed to floating around in the air.

What to look for in an air purifier

There are many different air purifiers available and choosing the right one can be a bit confusing. Look out for the following key features to help you make the right decision:

Size – can it be moved from room to room?

There are air purifiers that sit on desks and there are those that are the size of desks. If you want to move it around with you from room to room, consider a small one that can be easily picked up and placed anywhere.

Type of filtration

Air purifiers employ several methods to clean the air, some we recommend, others not so much:

  • True HEPA filter (highly recommended) – to be considered a true HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, it must meet standards set by the US Environmental Department. These filters eliminate 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or bigger. That means for every 10,000 particles that hit the filter, only 3 get through!
  • HEPA-type filter (recommended cheaper alternative) – the HEPA-type filter works in the same way but less efficiently, eliminating 99% of particles 2 micron or bigger. Generally, this will still filter out pollen and dust mites but will not trap smoke particles.
  • Activated carbon filter (highly recommended) – these filters use tiny pores between carbon atoms to trap harmful particles that pass through.
  • Ionizing/UV filter (proceed with caution) – these types of air purifier make passing particles more reactive so that they stick to surfaces instead of floating in the air. Unfortunately, this can produce harmful by-products like ozone. If you do choose an air purifier that uses this technology, make sure the manufacturer states that the quantity of ozone produced is negligible and well within regulatory limits.

A note on ozone

If an air purifier produces ozone, this is something to be wary of and it is a good idea to look into the technical specifications.

Some air purifiers use UV-C light to charge particles, getting them to stick to surfaces as opposed to floating around in the air. Unfortunately, this also charges the oxygen in the air (O2) causing the formation of ozone (O3).

Whilst ozone is useful high up in the atmosphere where it protects us from harmful UV radiation, it can be dangerous if inhaled. Ozone is unstable and can react with the cells in our respiratory tracts.

Replacing filters

Different filters require different treatment to keep them working. Standard large particle filters can often be removed and washed for reuse.

Many finer filters like the HEPA filters will require replacement after a period of use. How often you need to replace them depends on your use of the air purifier. The default that many makers state is to replace the filters every six months to ensure the unit still functions well. However, this will vary depending on your level of use.

Some air purifiers come with a very useful indicator that alerts you when your HEPA filter needs replacing.

When assessing the cost effectiveness of an air purifier, consider the price of replacement filters as they vary from brand to brand.

Noise

Noise, or lack thereof, is particularly important when looking for an effective air purifier, especially if you plan to run it at night. Most air purifiers have different speed settings, with the lowest settings being noticeably quieter than the highest.

If you plan to use the unit at night, make sure to get one with a very quiet low speed, and run the high-speed setting before you go to sleep to prepare the room.

Bigger units at low speeds can be just as effective as smaller ones at high speeds, but much quieter. However, there are some portable air purifiers available that are still very effective at low speeds, such as our pick.

“It has completely transformed our home’s air quality, on the low setting it is still very effective!”

Additional features

There is a host of other features to look out for:

  • Dual functionality as a fan
  • Oscillating movements – by rotating, the purifier can take in air from multiple angles.
  • Timers – very useful if you want to program the device to work automatically whilst you are out of the house.
  • Air quality sensors – these air purifiers are smart enough to gauge the air quality and automatically start if it dips below a certain point.
  • Smart units – link your air purifier to your smart phone, allowing remote operation and the ability to see the quality of the air in your home.
  • Night lights

SnoreLab’s choice – Levoit LV-H132 Compact HEPA Air Purifier

“My husband snores much, much less since we started using this purifier. Very high quality and effective!”

At SnoreLab, we like Levoit’s Compact HEPA Air Purifier. It is quiet, effective, easy to operate and comes at a very reasonable price point. There are a number of features that we believe make it an ideal air purifier that ticks a lot of boxes:

Effective and safe filtration

With the sophisticated filtration in Levoit’s compact air purifier, you can rid your room of:

  • Dust and dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Smoke
  • Airborne bacteria
  • Pollution

Levoit’s compact air purifier boasts three stages of filtration. This effective system meets the US Department of Energy’s standards by filtering out 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or bigger (for some perspective, the thinnest human hairs are 57 times wider than this).

This system uses three filters, none of which produce ozone:

  1. Fine preliminary filter – this neutralizes bacteria, pet dander, mold and fungal spores.
  2. True HEPA filter – traps dust mites, large pollutant particles and pollen.
  3. Activated carbon filter – this captures odors and fine particles like those in cigarette smoke.

Multi-directional shape

This air purifier doesn’t need to oscillate as it is already facing all possible angles. Its rounded shape means it doesn’t just take in air from one place but instead attracts air all around, cleaning the room more efficiently.

Small and portable

Just over a foot tall and weighing a little over six pounds, this air purifier can be moved from room to room with ease and placed on tables and desks.

Other features

The Levoit Compact HEPA Air Purifier also has three speed settings, an optional night light and is very easy to use.

“I suffer terribly from seasonal allergies. I keep one of these units in my bedroom. Now, I can sleep all night without any breathing problems waking me up.”

Top of the range – Alen Customizable Air Purifier

For more money, you get a lot more features. The Alen Customizable Air Purifier is perfect for large rooms, using four modes of filtrations to quietly, efficiently and thoroughly clean the air. It gets outstanding reviews and includes some great features:

  • Auto mode – laser sensors detect the level of pollution in the air as the unit adjusts accordingly.
  • Air quality indicator.
  • Customizable appearance – there are fourteen designer panel options that allow you to tailor the design to suit your home.
  • Quiet and powerful – uses pink noise to eliminate high-frequency sounds.
  • Energy efficient – this makes the unit cheap to run.
  • Filtration options – of the four filters, one is an ionizer which can produce a negligible amount of ozone. This feature can be turned on and off as you wish.
  • Cleans large rooms.
  • Lifetime warranty.

“My husband used to wake me up with his constant snoring, and since we started using this, I finally sleep without ear plugs.”

SnoreLab only endorses products that we have tested and verified give great results for our users. We earn a small commission on purchase made through our app and website which support the app’s development at no extra cost to you.

Snoring with an Open Mouth

Causes, Solutions

Snoring with an Open Mouth

Mouth breathing is one of the most common causes of snoring.

If you snore and frequently wake up with a dry mouth and sore throat, it’s likely that mouth breathing was the cause.

 

How mouth breathing can cause snoring

Plenty of snorers have weak jaw muscles or excess weight on their chins that pulls the mouth open whilst they sleep. This causes a troublesome switch to mouth breathing.

Studies have shown that your airway is narrower and more elongated when you breathe through your mouth, making vibrations more likely.

Sleeping with your mouth open aggravates snoring in numerous ways [1]:

The airway is narrowed. An open mouth causes your throat to compress as your tongue falls further back into your airway and the open space behind your tongue and soft palate is reduced.

Inhaled air becomes turbulent. Directly inhaled air vibrates the soft tissues at the back of your mouth

The airway dries out. This is because mouth breathing doesn’t humidify incoming air like nasal breathing does.

You are more susceptible to breathing in harmful things. Unlike nasal breathing, mouth breathing doesn’t trap allergens and bugs which can in turn worsen your snoring.

In addition to snoring, mouth breathing brings other problems that impact upon sleep quality, your breath, oral health, respiratory health and even face shape [2].

Why nasal breathing is important

Whilst mouth breathing is a primary cause for snoring, nasal breathing not only lowers your snoring risk, but has other benefits too.

Snoring reduction

Nasal breathing warms and humidifies incoming air, helping to prevent your airways drying out. It also channels air over your snoring noise-makers in a far less turbulent way than mouth breathing does.

More comfortable sleep

By treating the air, your nose prevents the frequent awakenings you may experience from having a dry mouth.

Enhanced filtration

The mucus and many folds within your nasal cavities do a great job of trapping potentially harmful invaders such as allergens and viruses/bacteria. These, in addition to making you feel terrible, can worsen your snoring.

Proper ventilation

Nasal breathing reduces the chance of hyperventilation – over-breathing with frequent, shallow breaths. Proper ventilation leads to optimum oxygen/carbon dioxide balance, allowing for improved blood oxygen saturation [2].

Enhanced nitric oxide inhalation

Nitric oxide (NO) has often been termed “the mighty molecule” [3]. Produced in the nose and sinuses, nasal breathing helps push this molecule into the lungs where it can exert its benefits. Here, it expands your blood vessels to reduce blood pressure and the associated risks [4]

Solutions if you CAN breathe through your nose

If you can breathe clearly through your nose but aren’t taking advantage of it, there are plenty of ways to keep your mouth closed to stop snoring …

SomniFix Mouth Strips

This innovative snoring solution uses a gentle adhesive to hold your lips together whilst you sleep. SomniFix strips are hypoallergenic, can be painlessly removed without leaving a sticky residue, and have a small mesh vent to allow limited mouth breathing if necessary.

This inexpensive, simple yet sophisticated product has shown to have massive benefits for mouth breathing snorers.

SnoreLab’s full review of SomniFix

Read

Mouth shields

Shields fit behind your lips but in front of your teeth to prevent mouth breathing. Products such as the SnoreLab recommended Somnipax Shield can also be custom molded and have small holes to allow a little mouth breathing if necessary.

Chin straps

Chin straps are another effective, if a little cumbersome, way to keep your mouth closed at night. They are usually worn under your chin and around the top of your head.

Mouthpieces

Mouthpieces can be particularly effective if your snoring is has multiple causes. If mouth breathing plays a role but isn’t the sole cause, mouthpieces not only promote healthier nasal breathing but also bring jaw forward to tighten the slack airway tissue responsible for snoring.

SnoreLab’s full guide to anti-snoring mouthpieces

Read

Tongue retainers

Similar to other anti-snoring mouthpieces, tongue retainers effectively block the mouth breathing route. In addition to this, they also work by holding your tongue forward to prevent it blocking your airway. We recommend the Good Morning Snore Solution for open mouth snorers whose tongues block their airway.

Solutions if you CAN’T breathe through your nose

If you can’t breathe clearly through your nose, for obvious reasons, there is no benefit to blocking the mouth breathing route. Instead, try …

Adequate hydration

Being dehydrated and having a dried airway contributes to thickened mucus which makes the walls of your airway more likely to stick together and make noise. Whilst we don’t recommend drinking loads before bed, make sure you drink plenty throughout the day and avoid salty foods before bed.

Humidifiers

When you are forced into mouth breathing by a blocked nose, humidifiers can provide relief and reduce snoring. They do the job of your nose by adding moisture to the air you breathe. Be sure to have a look at our guide to humidifiers and check out our recommended product.

Nasal treatments

If you are mouth breathing and snoring because your nose is blocked, have a look at our insights into nasal congestion and snoring. There are multiple causes of a blocked nose and many different ways to treat it.

Snoring Due to a Blocked Nose?

Causes, Science

Snoring Due to a Blocked Nose?

A blocked, congested or stuffy nose is one of the leading causes of snoring.

Many snorers will notice that they cannot breathe well through their nose and instead have to breathe via their mouths.

Unblocking your nose can drastically reduce snoring, but which way is best? Nasal obstruction has many causes so there are several different solutions.

Here, we explore the different causes of a blocked nose that could be the root of your snoring:

What could be blocking your nose?

Just as there is no single cause of snoring, many things can cause a blocked nose. Multiple factors can often working in sync with each other to aggravate snoring.

Check to see if you fit the profile for any of these …

1. A cold/illness

The common cold is brought on by a range of viruses that attack the upper respiratory tract. This invasion coupled with your body’s own defense mechanisms cause your nose to swell and become blocked.

Remedy your cold-induced snoring with:

2. Allergy

A leading cause of nasal obstruction and indeed snoring is allergies – particularly dust allergies or the pollen allergy better known as hay fever. This is where your body launches into infection-fighting mode in reaction to harmless things.

As allergens get into the body mainly through the nose, this is the area that is most affected. Heightened blood flow and release of inflammatory molecules make your nose become stuffy.

Snoring related to allergies can be effectively managed using:

  • Neti pots. These use salt water to flush out allergens and soothe inflamed tissue.
  • Air purifiers remove allergens from the air before they get to your nose.
  • Nasal sprays can be medicated or non-medicated. Both aim to reduce inflammation. Mast cell inhibitor sprays are a good preventative measure for hay fever sufferers.
  • Anti-histamines are a type of anti-inflammatory medication commonly used by allergy sufferers.

Read the story of SnoreLab user Jenny, who effectively banished her snoring after treating her dust allergies.

… I recorded my snoring and scored 199 with 70% of my snoring at the epic level. We cleaned, vacuumed and aired the room. I had some allergy medication from the doctor, settled down and WOW! I didn’t snore! …

3. Environmental factors

Fumes from noxious chemicals, smoke (tobacco or otherwise), perfumes and even changes in temperature are some causes of non-allergic rhinitis (rhin = nose, itis = inflammation).

This type of nasal blockage can be chronic, meaning it lingers for a long time and persistently recurs.

If you are exposed to these irritants on a daily basis, you may have lived with a stuffy nose for so long that you don’t even realize it anymore. Perhaps you don’t even factor it in as a cause of your snoring. Think about your day to day life and the things you are exposed to, as certain occupations carry more risk of exposure to these harmful irritants.

The natural environment can also influence snoring. Use SnoreLab to make notes on any stark changes in the weather, as this can certainly play a role in nasal blockage and snoring

Snoring caused by breathing bad air can be improved with the use of:

4. Hormones

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. Because they travel in the blood they are capable of reaching everywhere in the body, including the nose.

Hormonal fluctuations are particularly prominent during the menopause, menstruation and pregnancy.

There’s no shortage of changes that take place in the body during pregnancy, and though it may be low on your list of priorities, changes do take place in the nose. With increased blood supply to many parts of the body, up to 42% of pregnant women in their third trimester experience nasal blockage and as many as 49% snore (as opposed to 20% of the general female population) [1].

If hormonal fluctuations are responsible for your blocked nose and snoring, consider using:

5. Alcohol

An alcoholic drink before bed isn’t a great idea for restful or quiet sleep. Snoring is the result of over-relaxed muscles obstructing the airway. As a depressant, alcohol only makes this worse. Additionally, the breakdown of alcohol in the blood produces some transitional chemicals that, before being expelled as waste, can cause nasal congestion [2].

6. Nasal sprays

Using nasal decongestant sprays has proven effective in reducing nasal blockage and in turn, snoring. Whilst some types of nasal spray recommend daily use, the decongestant type (which works by constricting nasal blood vessels) can start to have the opposite effect if overused causing a “rebound effect” [3].

If you are using a nasal spray to treat your allergies, always check what type it is and read the instructions.

7. Medication

A blocked nose can also be triggered by prescription drugs that you may be taking regularly to treat other conditions.

Medication for high blood pressure (ACE inhibitors), heart conditions (beta blockers) and simple over-the-counter pain relief (NSAIDs) can all contribute to stuffing you up.

Have a check in your medicine cupboard if you suspect that your nose is worsening your snoring. This can often be remedied with a non-medicated approach such as a nasal dilator.

8. Physical abnormalities

If inflammation in the nose persists, the nasal folds become damaged and cause a blockage in their own right. Small, benign tissue growths called nasal polyps can develop alongside long-standing allergies, recurring infection or bad reactions to drugs such as aspirin.

The structure of your nose is also important. People with a deviated septum are likely to suffer from nasal blockage. This is where the cartilage separating your nasal cavities is asymmetric, meaning one cavity is larger than the other, with the smaller chamber having the propensity to become blocked.

A deviated septum is often due to facial trauma, though is also associated with certain genetic disorders of connective tissue and birth defects.

Sometimes, a simple nasal dilator can be very effective at relieving snoring caused by nasal tissue abnormalities. See which ones are most suitable for you with our guide to nasal dilators.

The science bit – how does nasal obstruction cause snoring?

Your nose is great, and when it’s working correctly you are unlikely to appreciate the important work it does. Whilst adding warmth and moisture to incoming air, it also uses mucus to trap harmful invaders and channels air through your upper airway efficiently and silently.

Snoring with a partially blocked nose

Trying to breathe through a blocked nose is uncomfortable. If you can just about manage it, the whistling or popping noise you get, whilst not the textbook definition of a snore, is still incredibly bothersome and would benefit from some attention.

A typical snore is still possible with a closed mouth. If you breathe through partially blocked nose, greater suction forces are created that can cause your throat to collapse and bring on snoring where your uvula and soft palate start to flap [4].

Snoring with a fully blocked nose

Usually, with a stuffy nose you simply aren’t getting enough air into your lungs through this narrowed space. This is when you need to go to breathing plan B, through the mouth.

Unfortunately, mouth breathing is a leading cause of snoring.

Opening your mouth whilst you sleep results in some changes to the shape of your airways, particularly the soft tissue “noise makers” that are responsible for snoring. Sleeping with your mouth dangling open is known to aggravate snoring for numerous reasons [5]:

  • An open mouth causes your throat to compress
  • Your tongue falls further back into your mouth
  • The open space behind your tongue and soft palate is reduced
  • Directly inhaled air vibrates the soft tissues at the back of your mouth
  • Your throat dries out from breathing in non-humidified air
  • Mouth breathing doesn’t filter allergens and bugs.

Conclusion

For some, a blocked nose is the sole cause of snoring, for others, the picture is bigger. Understanding what role your nose has in snoring and identifying the cause can set you well on your way to tailoring the correct remedies to your snoring and achieving quieter nights.

For more information about the best snoring remedies for a blocked nose, read our full article.

SomniFix Mouth Strips Review

Product Reviews, Solutions

SomniFix Mouth Strips Review

SomniFix Mouth Strips are an innovative new product for promoting healthy and quiet nasal breathing to stop your snoring.

Breathing through your mouth is one of the most common causes of snoring. If you’re snoring and find yourself waking up with a dry mouth and sore throat, it’s likely that mouth breathing was the cause. Breathing correctly sounds simple, but many of us are getting it wrong and snoring as a result.

This simple sleep therapy discourages noisy mouth breathing, giving you a quieter and more peaceful night’s sleep.

What are SomniFix Mouth Strips?

SomniFix Mouth Strips are single-use adhesive strips worn on your lips during sleep. By holding your lips together and gently supporting your jaw, air is channeled through the nose, reducing the likelihood of airway blockage and snoring.

These strips have some useful features that we believe can make them a key-player in the anti-snoring market:

  • Gentle adhesive that is easily pulled apart if necessary
  • Small mesh vent allowing some mouth breathing
  • Hypoallergenic material
  • Health benefits beyond snoring reduction

Mouth taping is a known snoring prevention technique, but SomniFix have engineered a superior, next-generation product that is far more comfortable, effective and less frightening than basic taping alternatives.

SomniFix’s specifically developed adhesive is gentle enough to be painless when removed from the lips, yet strong enough to hold the mouth shut properly. The hypoallergenic, sterile material is kind to delicate skin on your lips, as well as having a small mesh vent that allows limited mouth breathing if necessary.

Why you need to shut your mouth!

Many of us have weak jaw muscles or excess weight on our chins that pulls our mouths open whilst we sleep, causing a troublesome switch to mouth breathing. Sleeping with your mouth dangling open is known to aggravate snoring for numerous reasons [1]:

  • An open mouth causes your throat to compress
  • Your tongue falls further back into your airway
  • The open space behind your tongue and soft palate is reduced
  • Directly inhaled air vibrates the soft tissues at the back of your mouth
  • Your throat dries out from breathing in non-humidified air
  • Mouth breathing doesn’t filter allergens and bugs

As well as snoring, oral breathing brings other problems that impact upon sleep quality, bad breath, oral health, respiratory health and even face shape [2].

SomniFix shuts your mouth and addresses these problems.

Benefits of using SomniFix

Inhaling through the nose is our body’s preferred way to breathe. Keeping your mouth closed with SomniFix not only helps to reduce snoring but also yields other health benefits and tops it all off with a good night’s sleep.

1. Reduced snoring

At SnoreLab, reducing your snoring is our primary concern. Open-mouth breathing’s association with snoring is stark; it is one of the main causes of noisy nocturnal breathing.

By holding your lips together, SomniFix Mouth Strips keep your airway less obstructed by stopping your jaw dropping that causes parts of your throat to narrow and become blocked.

Just look at the difference in Snore Score when using SomniFix from this Amazon review …

“SomniFix reduced my snoring significantly. My wife is very happy. On the first night I used them, she was worried that I was so quiet during the night!”

2. Less discomfort and better sleep

SomniFix Mouth Strips help you to embrace the filtration and humidifying qualities of your nose. Proper breathing can eliminate that uncomfortable dry mouth, bad breath, sore throat, stuffy nose and headache.

Having a comfortable night gives you more restful and continuous sleep. Better sleep equals better health.

3. Improved use of CPAP

A CPAP mask that fits over your nose ceases to work if your mouth falls open. That air is simply jettisoned out of your mouth instead of holding your airway open as it should.

SomniFix mouth strips keep your mouth closed and allow the nasal CPAP devices to work better, making you more likely to stick to your CPAP treatment. They are a great alternative to the cumbersome chin straps that sometimes come with CPAP devices, because with CPAP you already have enough straps to worry about.

4. Reduced chance of infection and allergies

The mucus and folds in your nose trap harmful invaders. When breathing through your mouth, you increase the chance of inhaling bugs and allergens which can trigger the vicious circle of a blocked nose and oral breathing [2].

5. Proper ventilation and gas exchange

Nasal breathing reduces the chance of hyperventilation (over-breathing with frequent, shallow breaths). Proper ventilation leads to optimum oxygen/carbon dioxide balance, allowing for improved blood oxygen saturation [2].

6. Enhanced nitric oxide inhalation

Nitric oxide (NO) has been championed as the “mighty molecule” [3]. The discovery of its benefits in the body even won the Nobel Prize!

Produced in the nose and sinuses, it helps to expand the lower airways and blood vessels. Nasal breathing helps push this mighty molecule into the lungs where it can work its magic. By acting to expand your blood vessels, high blood pressure and the associated risks are reduced [4].

Why don’t I just use normal tape?

Using standard tape can hold your mouth closed too strongly and cause panic if you awake forgetting that you’ve applied it. Whilst it may serve a purpose overnight, taking it off in the morning can be painful and leave nasty marks.

SomniFix’s hypoallergenic material has undergone extensive testing to make sure it doesn’t cause skin irritation, whilst the adhesive is gentle and leaves no residue.

SomniFix Mouth Strips also painlessly dislodge through forcibly opening your mouth and have a small breathing vent if you need to revert slightly to mouth breathing.

This small hole not only gives you peace of mind, but also mimics the benefits of nasal breathing if you do happen to start breathing through your mouth.

Are SomniFix Mouth Strips suitable for everyone?

If you find yourself persistently waking with a dry mouth or sore throat, chances are, you’re a mouth breather and snoring as a result. SomniFix Mouth Strips are likely to be beneficial in addressing this bad breathing habit.

However, they aren’t suitable for everybody; you shouldn’t use them if you have any of the following:

  • Trouble with nasal breathing
  • Obesity (BMI more than 35)
  • Badly chapped lips
  • Consumed alcohol or sedatives before bed
  • Infections or sinus problems
  • Chronic breathing issues
  • Low blood pressure

Conclusion

SomniFix Mouth Strips are a sophisticated and comfortable solution to a common cause of snoring: mouth breathing. We at SnoreLab think these strips have the potential to become one of the first-choice solutions in the anti-snoring market. Transcending the homemade hack solution of mouth taping, SomniFix Mouth Strips are an advanced snoring remedy available at an affordable price.

 

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Is Snoring Genetic?

Science

Is Snoring Genetic?

Is snoring genetic? Questions in life rarely have a definitive answer, and this is no exception. Here, the answer is an unsatisfying “yes and no”. There is a genetic connection, but not a direct cause.

Your DNA can increase the risk of snoring but won’t condemn you to a certain life of nocturnal noises.

My family snores. Am I doomed?

Multiple studies have found that coming from a family of snorers confers a 3-fold increased risk of snoring yourself [1]. This is due to a number of different inherited features but there is no such thing as a “snoring gene”.

There is also some research to suggest that an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea can be inherited [2].

But fear not – if your whole family snores, whilst you may have to work a little harder to make sure that you don’t, you are far from doomed!

What heritable traits can make you snore?

Cranio-facial features

A predisposition for snoring can come from certain structural features in your face and airways.

Physical characteristics like your eye colour, height and skin tone are inherited from your parents. The same is true of the features that can make you snore.

The usual anatomical culprits for snoring are:

  • Small nostrils
  • Receded chin (known as retrognathia)
  • Small jaw (known as micrognathia)
  • Narrow airway
  • Large tongue
  • Large soft palate

All of these factors decrease the size of your airway and disrupt airflow therefore making snoring more likely.

If your snoring can be attributed to a distinct anatomical feature, it can usually be helped with standard anti-snoring remedies. Sometimes, if the abnormality is particularly pronounced, corrective surgery could be a solution.

Weight

Obesity is a key risk factor in snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Basically, the heavier you are, the more likely you are to snore.

Less clear is how much your genes are to blame. In some cases, yes, being overweight does seem to run in families, but it is the subject of much debate as to whether this is the result of nature or nurture.

The likely answer is, again, probably somewhere in the middle …

Physiological factors that dictate weight can indeed be inherited genetically. Appetite is regulated by a system of hormones and signals in the body which are ultimately controlled by a series of underlying genes.

On the other hand, attitudes to food, diet and weight are learned from the behaviours and views of the people around us. This can include our family or simply the society and culture we live in.

Conclusion

There are lots of factors that influence snoring, and it would appear that your DNA is one of them. It’s important to remember that this is only an influence and not a sentence to an eternity of snoring.

So if your mum and dad compete for the best (or worst) Snore Score, you need not worry. You can’t control your genes, but you can control a lot of other factors that contribute to your snoring. Try to understand your triggers and the solutions that work for you.

If you don’t know where to start, have a look at our 7 recommended lifestyle factors that can make huge differences to your snoring.

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